top of page

The Minnesota Timberwolves “Young Alpha” Anthony Edwards Leads Wolves Over Nuggets In Game 1

Anthony Edwards backing down Denver Nuggets forward Justin Holiday.

Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

It was the series many were anticipating between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets. The Wolves are led by their young alpha Anthony Edwards and the Nuggets by the man I call the Albert Einstein of basketball Nikola Jokic who controls the game with his brain unlike any player the NBA has ever seen.

You have the top-rated defensive unit all season led by three-time Defensive Player of The Year Rudy Gobert (also could win his fourth) along with another 7-footer All-Star sharpshooting big alongside him in the frontcourt in Karl Anthony-Towns.

The Nuggets and Wolves are coming off making easy work of the first round by sweeping their respective opponents in the Kevin Durant-led Phoenix Suns and LeBron James-led Los Angeles Lakers as it looks like the changing of the guard of the Association.

This is a series of intriguing matchups between two of the best closers in the league in Edwards and Jamal Murray and Jokic against the twin towers of Towns and Gobert.

You also have some key role players that will be X factors on who wins the series from the Nuggets side in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Aaron Gordon, to the Wolves' reigning Sixth Man of The Year Naz Reid and defensive ace Jaden McDaniels.

Game 1 saw the Wolves come out blazing to an 18-4 start the first five minutes of the game in the Mile High City with Edwards leading the way hitting his first five shots and scoring 18 in the first quarter. The Nuggets battled back to take a 44-40 halftime lead and held every player outside of Edwards to 6-for-27 shooting (22.2%).

However, Edwards took over the game, scoring a playoff career-high 43 points, grabbing seven boards, dishing out three assists, a steal, and swatting two shots en route to leading the Wolf Pack to a 106-99 victory on the defending champions homecourt.

His 43-point performance was his second back-to-back 40+ point playoff game joining a legendary name by someone of the name Kobe Bryant as the only two players to do d so age 22 or younger.

This is the Wolves' first time advancing past the first round of the playoffs since they made the 2004 Conference Finals led by Kevin Garnett who won the MVP that season.

Edwards performance last night gave him a three-game span of over 119 points making him the first person in franchise history to do so in the postseason. 

He didn’t do it alone though as Reid was incredible, especially in the fourth quarter when the game got tight scoring 14 of his 16 in the fourth-including 10 consecutive to help seal the deal on the Nuggets.

Other players contributed, such as veteran point guard Mike Conley scoring 11 of his 14 in the third, and Towns recording 11 of his 20 in the third when Edwards struggled to get consistent good looks.

Jokic scored 32 on 11-of-25 shooting (44%), eight rebounds, nine assists, and three steals in what would seem like a great performance from any player but if you watched the game it wasn’t a typical Jokic one.

The Wolves were being physical with Jokic, making him exert a lot more energy offensively than he typically would to create for himself and others, they got him off balance offensively (which seldom happens), and made him shoot tough shots.

They held Murray scoreless in the first half for the first time in his playoff career! Someone who’s a playoff assassin and a lethal scorer on all three levels is dealing with a calf injury he suffered in the Lakers series.

 Edwards played tremendous one-on-one defense on Murray ( holding him to 6-of-14 from the field) showing he’s a two-way player.

He’s unlike any young player the game has witnessed at this age due to his poise and leadership in the big moments.

"It's not about introducing ourselves to nobody. We know who we are," Edwards said when asked about Minnesota playing past the first round of the playoffs for the first time in two decades. "We're coming out and as long as we got each other's backs, it don't really matter what anybody else thinks."

Even Jokic, the man favored to win his third MVP in four years and considered the best player in the game had high praise: “To be honest, he's a special player, I have huge respect for him, he can do everything on the floor, You need to give him respect, how good and how talented he is."

As talented as Edwards is he never seems to force the issue, always moving the ball around to a teammate for a good shot when opponents throw the double at him which is so rare to see from a player at this stage of his career.

The Wolves now lead the series 1-0 to steal homecourt in what seemed like a seismic shifting game of the power pendulum in the Western Conference.

Game 2 is set for Monday at 10 P.M. Eastern Time… Have your popcorn ready folks, because this will be a great long series.


bottom of page